Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stuffing My Bra

First, I want to make clear that I never stuffed my bra as a teenager. I never could figure out the point. It wouldn’t stop the girls in the gang shower at gym from calling me “barely a pinch” and it wouldn’t stop the rude boys from saying the truth, “she only cares about homework.”  Both groups thought these were insults. I didn’t see it that way.  

The only time I cared at all was when a boy whose poetry I admired said he only likes “the big breasted ones.”  A friend who was endowed in that department went out with him. She said he spent the entire date figuring out ways to touch her breasts as if by accident. I was glad I didn’t attract that kind of attention.

I just checked both Google and Amazon to see if that high school poet ever got published.  The only place I found his name was on Not on poetry sites or book vendors.  I didn’t bother to join to find out more about him.

But I am now interested in bra stuffing.  My clothes look odd with only one breast.  Medicare will pay for one prosthetic every 2 years.  I went to a local store that has a department that specializes in mastectomy products.  I was stunned to discover that Medicare has approved a $240 silicone bra insert.  The thing is heavy and has a weird texture.  The store carries other more expensive models, but nothing I liked. So, I made it my homework to find out what else is out there. 

I discovered that there are silicone models that weigh less, but none of them feel natural. And when I lie on my back, they stick up like a Star Trek bra, but only on that side.  Some of the prosthetics come with a matching support for the other side, so the wearer can look like a Star Trek actress on both sides.

I found swimming models that are designed to allow water to flow along the skin, so they’ll feel natural while swimming.  They are so heavy that they weigh down the pockets in mastectomy swimsuits.  I put one into a swimsuit, and suddenly one breast appeared at least an inch lower than the other.  

Then I started reading the web.  Bath puffs are popular as swimming prosthetics.  Bath puffs are just held together with a piece of string.  So, the wearer can cut the string, cut off the appropriate length of bath puff and re-knot it.  There are also instructions for cutting up an old nylon stocking to make prosthetic pockets to sew into any swimming suit.

There are instructions for knitting a tit.  These looked so soft and light weight that I went to my local knitting shop and took a lesson.  After that I decided it was worth the $12 to buy one from the former midwife who sells them on ebay.  This woman says she’s sold thousands to the British Health Care Services.   At $12, medicare might be interested.  They do need to be washed and dried, so women will need at least 2 of them.  Still, that’s 1/10th what the official approved model costs.

There are also instructions for filling an unlubricated condom with water and knotting it. And instructions for folding up nursing pads to use as bra stuffing.

All of these are way more creative than the wadded toilet paper that teenagers used to use.  For all I know, today teenagers may buy the lumpectomy prostheses that are guaranteed to add at least one size.
Medicare also pays for 4 mastectomy bras a year with pockets.  I never looked at $40 bras before.
These things are great. They have wide shoulder straps.  Ever since I had surgery to repair my broken collar bone (it took a 2-ton car to break my collar bone, so I deserve bragging rights here), I can’t feel when the strap slips off my shoulder.  This bra stays on, no matter how much exercise I do.

It’s nice to know that if I have to stuff my bra, the bra will stay on.


  1. After watching my friend struggle with expanders-gone-wrong and jackets over dresses to cover her lack of a bosom I say Thank You for the advice!

  2. If you do decided to order the knit tit on Ebay, be sure to tell Polly, the woman who makes them, that you want it for a prosthetic. She'll ship the knitting with an opening so you can decide how much stuffing you want. Mine arrived and this is the most comfortable prosthetic I've found. it's soft, which is good for hugging and exercise. It's light weight and can even be used in a regular bra.